Select Page

The Side Effects of Sleeping in a Recliner

Jan 12, 2018

Sleeping in a recliner side effects

You will spend a third of your life in the state of a self-induced coma commonly known as sleep. Scientists though are not clear as to why we need to shut down our brains, leaving us very vulnerable to the elements to catch some zs. They hypothesize that the brain needs this period to reorganize itself; file away paperwork if you may. They are positive though that without these zs, worst case scenario is that you would go bonkers; completely psychotic. So if sleep is so important, it would be best to have it in good quality. This, of course, begins with where you will lay your tired self.

The big debate on bed vs. recliner seat then comes to play. Which of these two mediums will deliver the most relaxing sleep? Well, it is agreeable that for most healthy humans, the bed makes the best place to wind up your day. Sleeping in a horizontal position allows for various sleeping positions including the back, side or on your tummy. It allows you to switch quickly to any comfortable sleeping style assisting your muscles to relax. It also reduces the pressure your spine has accumulated all day from uncomfortable posture and redirects lubricating fluids back to its discs.

But there are certain conditions that make a full night of uninterrupted sleep in the supine or prone position next to impossible. Research shows that while getting little sleep renders you a grouch, enduring frequently interrupted sleep can make you rage like the Hulk himself. The reason behind this phenomenon is that disturbed sleep equals less time in deep sleep mode, which is the mode that’s most restorative for your body. The good news is that recliner seats may indeed counteract some of these debilitating conditions and help you zonk out better than you would on your bed. Yes, siree they could! Below are some conditions that make sleep in your recliner more satisfying and manageable than sleep on your bed.

Heart disease

Congestive heart failure can render you unable to breath when you lie flat. Studies show that the supine position places a lot of strain on your pulmonary system. Most physicians will recommend inclined bed therapy, or advise you to prop yourself up with pillows when sleeping. A more comfortable option is to catch that nap in your beloved recliner. This will eliminate the need to gasp for breath and will help you wake up refreshed and happier.

Sleep apnea

This condition causes tissues at the upper part of the airways to press down on it, blocking it and causing you to wake up intermittently to allow for proper breathing. There are better sleep outcomes for this condition for most people with sleep apnea on a recliner. Since your upper body is in a raised position, the tissues as mentioned earlier, do not fall back on the airway as is the case with horizontal sleeping.

Acid reflux

A weak esophageal sphincter muscle may cause an influx of acid to the throat area, causing pain and wakefulness at night when lying in a horizontal position. A recliner mitigates the chances of acid reflux since the acid cannot flow back the esophagus.

Back Pain and Sciatica

A recliner elevates the head and knees assisting in the elimination of pain from spinal stenosis or osteoarthritis through the relaxation of the surrounding muscles. Studies show that a reclined elevated position can reduce pain from degenerative disease by up to 61%, as well as muscle strain by up to 77%.

For pregnancy-induced back pain, a recliner seat can mitigate at least 60% of it, rendering the recliner seat a massive hit with most moms in their third semester.

Postoperative care

Case studies have shown that when a patient is allowed to recuperate on a recliner post-op, they get home ready faster than patients on a traditional hospital bed. Heart bypass patients especially are unable to sleep on their sides weeks after surgery and recliners dramatically assist them to catch the needed rest for healing.

The aged

While this is not a condition per se, it renders most senior citizens inactive, allowing bodily fluid to pool in their legs and feet. This causes persistent pain, numbness, muscle cramps and annoying tingling, due to poor circulation. Recliner seats assist the body remedy this situation when your feet are up in your recliner. All pooled fluids in your extremities are recirculated back to the system, reducing the pain, inflammation, swelling and subsequent discomforts.


Sleeping in recliner seats has assisted many would be sleepless people catch much-needed rest at night. While there are no reported adverse effects of sleeping on recliners, moderation is a necessity as a sedentary lifestyle especially one spent on your warm recliner seat is a recipe for health disaster. The balance is key.

Follow Us

  • Join Our Awesome Newsletter Today!

    Thank you for subscribing.

    Something went wrong.